Your brand doesn’t belong to you_

According to a survey by Capgemini, which surveyed over 3000 customers from all over the world, 92% of British companies perceive themselves to be customer-centric, but only 15% of customers agree the companies are customer-centric.

So how do we close this massive gap between perception and reality?

Let’s start with a definition of customer centricity: 

“Customer centricity is the ability of people in an organisation to understand customers’ situations, perceptions, and expectations. It demands that the customer is the focal point of all decisions related to delivering products, services and experiences to create customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy.”

Gartner Glossary

Danger arises when brands are ideated, shaped, and built in boardrooms with little, if any consideration for the customer and how they perceive a business.

Regardless of what you hear about raving fans, tribes, and cult like followings, it’s a romantic ideal that is often just a pipe dream if a business doesn’t take its customers seriously.

Consumers have limited capacity to seek out, evaluate and buy from brands. They also are ultimately loyal to their own needs and will remain loyal to the brand that they can find, meets their needs, and that gives them a good experience. 

Start with humility.

The fundamental basics of good marketing and branding is to embrace humility. Realising that you are not the customer, never will be the customer, and have no idea about what the customer wants and needs. 

If you can get to this point, you are doing better than 99% of brand and marketing ‘experts’.

We can romanticise the branding process all we want, but if your business fails to consider the customers perception, needs, and desires from the outset of a brand conception then it’s likely that you are leaving money on the table.

Making empty assumptions about a market, is the quickest way to kill a brand.

Instead of building brands in the vacuum of the boardroom, it’s important to realise that you are not the customer, and your opinion about their needs doesn’t matter. Getting out to your customers, taking to them, interviewing them, surveying them, and uncovering the route of their needs and how they perceive your brand is the most important thing a business can do.

Be honest. When was the last time you asked your customers for direct feedback on your products and service, and took that feedback and implemented it into a product development cycle?

The beauty of brand strategy.

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It’s the role of Brand Strategy to bring the aims of a business, and the perception of customers closer together to fuse a strategic advantage, and a distinctive visual identity that deepens your bond of trust with your customers.